In a TED talk that is very persuasive, Washington, D.C. author and speaker Dan Pink explains why traditional forms of reward and punishment do not actually improve productivity for the modern organization. Citing scientific studies, Pink illustrates how rewards improve only the most basic and repetitive of task output; tasks which are typically automated or outsourced to low-skilled labor. High thought work, on the other hand, is negatively impacted when rewards for performance are introduced.
This should – but probably won’t – have a big impact on recent pushes for “pay for performance” in both the U.S. government and the public school systems. What do you think? Do you find yourself nodding along as you hear Pink’s research and analytic conclusions? Or are you comfortable and satisfied with your current compensation structure?